† Lyuba is a dead fossil Female ♀ Woolly Mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), , who died at Yuribei Riverbanks, in Russia, .
Lyuba was born wild at Siberia unspecified forest.
In 2007, a Nenets reindeer herder named Yuri Khudi and his sons happened upon Lyuba in the permafrost of the Yamal Peninsula. The spring weather had melted the ice just enough to wash up the body on the banks of a river. The 41,800-year-old carcass was remarkably well preserved. As Nenets believe that touching mammoth carcasses brings bad luck, Khudi took note of the find but didn't move the remains. Instead, he informed a local museum director who made arrangements to move the mammoth.
Unfortunately, when they arrived, the mammoth has disappeared. Lyuba was then traced to a nearby town, where she was propped up against a store. The store owner had bought the mammoth from Khudi's cousin in exchange for two snowmobiles and a year's supply of food. During the move, dogs had unfortunately attacked Lyuba, removing her right ear and part of her tail. Once police were able to help Khudi and the museum director reclaim the mammoth, it was transferred to the Shemanovsky Museum in Salekhard. For his hand in the discovery and help getting her to safety, Khudi was allowed to name the mammoth. He gave her the name Lyuba, after his wife.
Lyuba is believed to have suffocated by inhaling mud as she struggled while bogged down in deep mud in the bed of a river which her Herd
was crossing. Following death, her body may have been colonized by lactic acid-producing bacteria, which "pickled" her, preserving the mammoth in a nearly pristine state. Her skin and organs are intact, and scientists were able to identify milk from her mother in her stomach, and fecal matter in her intestine.
Lyuba was the subject of a 2009 documentary Waking the Baby Mammoth by the National Geographic Channel and of a 2011 children's book by Christopher Sloan, Baby Mammoth Mummy: Frozen in Time: A Prehistoric Animal's Journey into the 21st Century
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